It has been nearly a year since Emma Watson, the United Nations Women Goodwill Ambassador, gave a revolutionary speech introducing the HeForShe campaign. HeForShe is a solidarity movement for gender equality that encourages men and boys around the world to step up and pledge to be advocates for change. Because education is a major determining factor in job positions and opportunities, HeForShe is calling to involve businesses, universities, and governments to help establish equality. HeForShe also encourages advocates to be a part of its IMPACT 10x10x10 initiative that “develops three bold, game-changing commitments to advance and ultimately achieve gender equality for all."
Multiple international corporations as well as international leaders have signed on to support the HeForShe initiative. A leading French hospitality company, employing over 180,000 citizens, has committed to eliminating its pay gap by 2020. PricewaterhouseCoopers, a multinational professional services network, has announced that they proudly back the HeForShe campaign. Further, Chairman Dennis Nally of PwC signed on to be one of six IMPACT 10x10x10 founding champions, alongside Prime Minister Mark Rutte of the Netherlands, President Ernest Bai Koroma of Sierra Leone, Prime Minister Stefan Löfven of Sweden, Mr. Paul Polman, CEO of Unilever, and Rick Goings, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Tupperware Brands Corporation.
Why does this matter? How is this affecting business around the world? Currently, there is a substantial gap between men and women when speaking of political engagement and opportunity in general. There has been little growth in women’s equality in the workplace since 2006. To highlight that timeline, remember that Apple has produced nine generations of the iPhone in that time. According to a study done by Facebook and McKinsey, women in general are 25% less likely to be connected to the internet than men. Women make up half the population, and they are being left out of the conversation. HeForShe advocates for empowerment of both men and women, realizing that in order to achieve ultimate development, it is necessary that everyone is involved. The uprising of support for the movement is giving women around the world more opportunities to succeed and to contribute to the greater good. Not only will overall productivity improve, but with more leadership and parliamentary roles being filled by women, expect a change in conversation as well as an increase in diverse suggestions to solve some of our world’s biggest problems.